Electric power thermal generating station fuel consumption, 2016
Canada generated 203.6 million megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity from fuels by electric utility thermal plants in 2016, down 1.5% from the previous year.
The largest fuel sources used in the generation of electricity by Canadian utility thermal plants were uranium, coal and natural gas. Combined, these sources accounted for more than 95% of the thermal-based electricity generated in Canada.
At a national level, electricity generated from uranium totalled 95.4 million MWh, down 0.7% from 2015, while generation from coal decreased 4.7% to 58.0 million MWh. Conversely, electricity generated from natural gas rose 0.8% to 41.4 million MWh.
In celebration of the country's 150th birthday, Statistics Canada is presenting snapshots from our rich statistical history.
Since the turn of the 20th century, thermal generation has played a critical role in Canada's growth and development. Generation reached 144,000 megawatt hours (MWh) in 1919, when Statistics Canada, known as the Dominion Bureau of Statistics before 1971, first published thermal generation statistics by utilities in megawatts.
As our country grew, electricity generation from industries began to develop and emerge. By 1947, thermal generation of electricity from industries had reached 1.28 million MWh, and was higher than the 1.0 million MWh generated by utilities. This trend would continue until 1950.
In 1969, following the development of nuclear power technology, Canada produced 494,000 MWh of electricity from nuclear power, which has since gone on to become a key generation source of electricity in Ontario and in New Brunswick.
While hydroelectric generation continues to produce the largest amount of electricity in Canada, thermal energy from combustible fuel sources remains the primary source of energy in a number of provinces and territories, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Note to readers
The Electric Power Thermal Generating Station Fuel Consumption Survey provides data on the amount of fuel consumed by thermal generating plants, the cost of the fuel consumed for electric power generation and the amount of electricity generated from these fuels.
Data from 2014 and 2015 have been revised.
The Electric Power Thermal Generating Station Fuel Consumption Survey is now administered as part of Statistics Canada's Integrated Business Statistics Program (IBSP). Detailed information about the IBSP is available from the Behind the data module of our website.
For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).
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